Posted on: 11 September 2014
You have already done a lot of the hard work of felling a tree and now you are left with the stump. How do you remove it? This article will show you various ways to get rid of this remaining stubborn part of the tree.
How deep are the roots?
As a general rule of thumb, coniferous trees have shallower roots that spread out widely, whilst deciduous trees tend to have deep penetrating roots. It's worth making this general assessment to grasp how much work may lie ahead and what method or tools might be required.
Ways to remove the stump
Here are a number of ways to effectively remove a stump.
If you have ascertained it is a shallow rooted tree, then, so long as it is fairly small, digging it out can be an option. Using a fork or spade, dig round the outside of the stump slowly exposing the roots. If possible, dig as much under the stump as you can. Then you need to try 'rocking' the top of the stump back and forth with your hands. With persistence, the stump should work itself free.
Attach a rope to the back of your car and try to pull it out. Ensure the rope is fastened to your tow bar or tow rope loop. Attaching to your bumper will only leave you will a bumper-less car! The success of this operation will depend on the power of your vehicle, the traction on the ground and the available room you have.
Dig away as much soil from around the stump as possible. Place dry twigs or grass, or anything combustible around and on top of the trunk and set it alight. This method is usually only good for old or dead trees and soft wood trees like pine. If the tree has only just been felled, leave a few months for the stump to dry out and lose some of the sap and water.
The most environmentally friendly method. Drill or bore multiple large and deep holes into all parts of the stump. This allows rain water, insects and fungi to get into the heart of the stump. from here it will start to decay and rot down.
The most preferred method if you have access to one. Tractors have the traction and power to pull out most stumps. But a word of caution when using this method. If the rope used has any elasticity in it at all, there is a chance that the stump could propel towards the vehicle when it releases from the ground. To prevent this use a metal tow rope.
Make no mistake, stump removal can be difficult, strenuous and sometimes dangerous work. If you think that you might run into problems, best get a tree surgeon to help you out. A tree removal specialist will know what to do.